* It has discouraged me to read new articles almost daily on high school shootings. As a high school student, I cannot help but wonder if the media inflate the already large problem by publicizing these events. A majority of the times, the students who are the cause of the shootings are outcasts who just want to be noticed, and the media give them a way to finally get their long-awaited "glory."
It frightens me to think that it could happen at my school as well. Some students could believe that they will become "celebrities" by killing people at their school, attracting the news stations and being seen across the nation. Sadly, these events are not as novel to me as when I first heard about them. I hope the public realizes that this cannot continue to go on and that the publicity must stop.
I wonder what kids think will happen when they go to school with a gun. If they wake up in the morning thinking this is the day "they will get theirs," do they also think this is the day my family starts suffering? This is the day innocent parents lose their children? This is the last day I will feel the comfort of my own bed in my own home? Maybe they haven't considered that they will probably never sleep in their own bed again, never have Christmas at home, never drive a car, go to the prom, hold a baby. If they're bullied at school, do they really think prison is going to be a better place? Maybe we've failed to teach our children how to think things through.
Selmer Bringsjord's March 26 commentary reminded me of an old Bill Cosby routine about his college days. He said the philosophy majors would go around pondering, "Why is there air?" To the jocks, the answer was obvious: Air is for blowing up basketballs!
The practical lesson we can take from Prof. Bringsjord is this: Severe penalties are no deterrent to people--maybe especially in the turbulent adolescent years--who don't care about consequences. So the only effective way to prevent tragedies is to prevent them from having ready access to guns and bombs when their psyches are ready to explode.